Stephen was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, United Kingdom, to Isobel and Frank Hawking. He was a pretty smart kid. The child, who concealed that he would have views that would change the world, started an ordinary life.
When Stephen was 8 years old, they settled in St. Albans, 20 miles away from London, and at the age of 11, he enrolled at the St. Albans School. He wasn’t a successful student, he usually got bad grades. Stephen worked hard to improve his grades to a middle level, but they did not get better than that. However, he was very intelligent.
He was not interested in the lessons at class. He was only interested in Mathematics and Physics. He hated biology. For him, it was a very vague, a subject that only needed memorizing. It would make more sense to examine the working mechanism of every object he saw around him. The kid spent his early years developing his curiosity about how things work. That’s why he was called “Einstein.” It was accepted since then that he would be a genius of the future.
Working order of things, school life time passed, and university time came. Stephen won a scholarship to Oxford University…
His father was in favour of studying medicine; but Stephen’s heart fell for Mathematics. However, there was no Mathematics Department at school. He started to study Physics…
At the end of his third year, he was awarded a first class medal of honour in natural sciences. Stephen then went to Cambridge to work on cosmology, as it was absent from Oxford. Although he wanted here his adviser to be Fred Hoyle, he was appointed to Dennis Sciama..
After receiving his doctorate, he would first become a research assistant and then a professor assistant at Gonville and Caius College. However, these all occurred after some many changes in his life.
He surprised people and himself. The human does not always easily realize who he has become. Of course the end of this is solitude, and Stephen was alone. Maybe he had preferred this. The solution to the loneliness and unhappiness he felt was to join the rowing team at the university.
He was the helmsman of the rowing team. He didn’t have such a big body. With this body type, the task of the person would not be to row. He was on the steering wheel for direction and speed. Maybe he didn’t row; but joining this team was enough to make him a popular person.
He returned to his childhood for the idea of studying. Since he worked with the rowing team 6 afternoons a week, he completely disrupted his study. The tempo was very intense. He used the time of work that was easier and more enjoyable to him and used creative analysis to prepare laboratory reports.
In the grip of ALS disease
Stephen was 21 and a graduate student. His body slowly began to stagger and show general clumsiness. Doctors diagnosed him with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
This was not all; doctors said Stephen would very likely die in a few years. This disease paralyzed the nervous system by killing 80 percent of motor neurons over time. However, there was no problem with the mental activities of the brain. He just needed to live in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
His illness could not discourage his ideas and theories. In spite of ALS, Stephen Hawking has written his name in history with ideas, theories and loves that have created controversy around the world. Rather he was studying the basic principles of the universe.
Stephen was to be featured in the world press with his work throughout his life. However, work would not be the only subject. His love stories attracted as much attention as his theories.
Stephen met Jane Wilde at a train station. They were just young college students. When Stephen was diagnosed in 1964 without a cure, they immediately married. Years later, both of them explained their decision with the emotionality of their youth. “We didn’t know how long Stephen would live, Jane said. Stephen, on the other hand, considered his marriage to Jane a “turning point”.
At their wedding, Stephen could only stand with the help of a cane, and Jane, of course, was his biggest supporter. They were finally married. By the end of the 1960s, the arm and leg muscles had completely lost the strength to keep Stephen alive. He was finally convinced to use a wheelchair, which made things a little easier. In 1967, these two crazy youngsters, had a son, Robert, and in 1970, a daughter, Lucy. In 1979, they had another child. Jane and Stephen separated in 1991 after having three children together.
Stephen’s growing fame was putting incredible pressure on the couple. The difficulties brought on by his illness were bitter. Finally, the relationship with Elaine Mason, caretaker of Stephen and wife of his first wheelchair designer, David Mason, had completely cut the ropes. Elaine would be Stephen’s second wife.
Jane summed up the whole process: I felt I was starting to let my family go. Stephen was my husband and father of my children, but all of a sudden, he said, ‘You’re amazingly smart! I adore the soil beneath his feet, or in this case, under his wheels … ‘ he’s filled with people who say things like… This was frustrating, the last straw was to take a nanny to take care of my children.
Of course, there was another traumatic aspect. In 1990, Jane described the situation in their relationship as a “burnout.” “I was guilty, I think so. I was hoping that the caregiver we took home would help to care for a disabled person and the rest of the family. Very few of these happened. I was desperate, I thought I could not bear this burden anymore because I was so exhausted”, like this she conveyed her thoughts and feelings.
Jane had also begun a relationship with choral conductor Jonathan. Stephen knew about this relationship. Elaine was constantly provoking him. Stephen chose to remain silent and even confirm. However, Elaine finally captured Stephen, and the clouds that led him to divorce began to build up on their roofs. Even though Stephen thought about the divorce, Jane actually felt strong enough to love both Jonathan and Stephen and her family.
Jane and Stephen officially divorced in 1995. Stephen married Elaine, his caretaker. In the early 2000s, there were rumours that Elaine had committed violence against Stephen. Stephen kept silence in the police-initiated investigation. However, their marriage ended quietly in 2006.
His life moved to the big screen in 2014 with a film called “The Theory of Everything”, the life he had had with Jane.
In 1973, Stephen left the Institute of Astronomy and moved to the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. After 1979, he became “Lucasian Professor of Mathematics” in the Department of Mathematics.
This was a special professorship, since this unit was founded in 1663 by Henry Lucas, a member of the university parliament. First, considering assignments suggested by Isaac Barrow, and then by Isaac Newton, in 1669, Stephen Hawking worked on the basic principles of the universe.
At the end of these studies, along with Pen Roger Penrose he showed that “General Theory of Relativity” of Einstein started with“ Big Bang” and ended with black holes. This result confirmed the need to combine General Theory of Relativity with Quantum Mechanics.
As a result of this merger, the black holes would not entirely black, but they emitted radiation and evaporated and became invisible. Another result was that the universe had an end and a boundary. When this was added, it meant that the beginning of the universe took place entirely within the framework of scientific rules.
This discovery of Stephen Hawking was one of the greatest discoveries of the second half of the twentieth century.
25 years, as long as it lasted, flowed like water. In 1985, another apparatus had to be added to his wheelchair. Stephen had lost his voice. A computer was attached to his seat, which could convert texts into sound. In this way, he could communicate with people. His biggest supporter was undoubtedly his family.
When Stephen wanted to talk, he squeezed the electronic device in his hand and could list an average of 10 words per minute on the screen of the private computer attached to his chair. Maybe he didn’t have a voice, but he had a lot to tell. The average number of words a healthy person used in his speech was 2,500, and Stephen’s computer had exactly 2600 words in memory. He was just a quiet genius. The voice was the missing part, not the words and Stephen could express his emotions even in these circumstances.
Stephen Hawking, like all geniuses, exhibited works that went beyond his age. With his claims about quantum physics and black holes, he was the most well-known of recent scientists. His theories and books on the universe have been translated into 40 languages. Moreover, he had sold enough of his crazy theoretical knowledge to provide the necessary financial independence to popularize it. His earnings were sufficient to develop the applied mathematics and theoretical physics laboratory at the University of Cambridge.
His illness made him more attractive. That is because there was a mystery arising from this disease. Perhaps this is why his ideas and theories were always intriguing. There was also: Of course, man questions himself. After the diagnosis of such a powerful disease, the theories, let alone the universe, what kind of majority were we to give up our daily life…
He never stopped. He always continued to investigate and surprise. In his book, ‘The Universe in Walnut Shells ’published in 2013, he was talking about a great disaster awaiting the world. As a solution, people would have to build colonies in space.
Nevertheless, his first book, which gave him the taste of fame, was ’A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to the Black Holes’, which he published in 1988, selling more than 90 million copies by 2002. ‘The Universe in a Nutshell’ revealed the secrets behind the important discoveries since its first book and was considered the continuation of the ‘A Brief History of Time’. Hawking was regarded as the greatest theoretical physicist ever since Einstein, and he has strengthened this with all his books.
If you think he was just writing scientific books, you’re wrong. Stephen, along with his daughter Lucy, also wrote children’s books regarding the universe: “The Secret Key to the Universe”, “George and the Unbreakable Code”, “George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt”, “George and the Big Bang”
Stephen strongly believed in the existence of space. In 2007, at the age of 65, he made the journey of his life. He was able to stand in the air without gravity, independent of his chair. It made Stephen happy to get stuck in the air like this.
According to him, if global warming would have a long future for the human race after nuclear war, it was only possible in space.
In 2008, as a speaker at NASA’s 50th anniversary celebration, he expressed his ideas on space.
He expressed his views on space as follows: “I believe that life on Earth is at an ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as a sudden nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus, or other dangers. I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go to space. We need to inspire the next generation to become engaged in space and in science in general, to ask questions: What will we find when we go to space? Is there alien life, or are we alone? What will a sunset on Mars look like?”
Throughout his entire Physics career, Stephen Hawking has received an unbelievable series of impressive awards and insignia.
He was admitted to the Royal Society. He was honoured with the “Gold Medal of Science”. He was, of course, awarded the Albert Einstein Prize.. He also received the Hughes Medal.
Among the awards he was honoured with, of course, was the title of “Lucasian Professor of Mathematics” at the University of Cambridge…
The news of Stephen Hawking’s death was received on 14 March. The whole world was talking about him again. Of course, the death of a genius was not easily digested.
Stephen Hawking died in Cambridge from ALS. He was 76 years old, although he should have died long ago according to the doctors. Although he had lived in a wheelchair for almost his entire life, Hawking had proved to the world that a person does not come to the world in vain.